Traditional Tibetan Medicine Certificate Trainings
The Shang Shung Institute is very happy to offer a revolutionary new way to study Tibetan Medicine that caters to all levels of interest. We are in the process of taking our 4-year curriculum and breaking it down into online on-demand modules and practical intensives offered around the world. These modules will support at least three certificate levels including:
- Tibetan Menpa (Doctor) with 3200 hours of training including a 3 month internship at the Mtsho Sngon Tibetan hospital in Qinghai, Tibet
- Basic Tibetan Kunye Massage Therapy Certificate with 130 hours of training
- Advanced Tibetan Kunye Massage Therapy and External Therapies Certificate with 750 hours of training.
All of our courses will be a credit-based system so by completing the lower levels of certificate trainings one will accumulate credits towards the higher certificate levels.
This new modular system will also allow people who are just curious or interested in learning a little about Tibetan Medicine or a specific topic of Tibetan Medicine to audit any given module at a much lower price. It also allows practitioners of other fields to learn about specific topics of interest to supplement their current practice.
We are very excited to offer this new innovative approach to learning Tibetan Medicine and look forward to sharing all of the details in the near future. The first modules are slated for completion by this Fall, 2011. To start earning credits towards one of our certificate levels please join one of our summer intensives or our 750-hour onsite Advanced Tibetan Kunye training starting Spring 2012 in Florence, MA. More detailed information on our complete new curriculum will be available on this page by August 1st!
Downloadable Academic Catalog SSI_Academic_Catalog_2009.pdf
Course Descriptions of Core Foundation Courses
The core foundation studies include the major topics presented in the Four Tantras, which form the theoretical basis for the practice of Tibetan medicine. Each semester, several of these topics will be introduced. Students gradually build their knowledge base through the systematic examination and integration of the material as it has been taught for centuries.
Tibetan Medical History
Among the five sciences found in the Tibetan canon (Language, Logic, Medicine, Arts and Crafts, & Religious Philosophy), the Tibetan science of healing is considered the most important. It contains knowledge compiled and disseminated since antiquity by the Tibetan people. One of the oldest continuously applied healing systems on the planet, Tibetan Medicine remains a vital and living tradition.
Evolving over many centuries, Tibetan healers gradually created new techniques for protecting life, which increased the productive work and happiness of individuals, and treated illness. Students will be introduced to the historical origin and developments of the Tibetan medical tradition, with an emphasis on how the key topics evolved to their present stage.
Tibetan Medicine Root Tantra
For centuries the Root Tantra has been the essential foundation for all Tibetan medical studies. This text clearly introduces all the major topics of the traditional Tibetan science of healing. By learning the essential topics covered in the Root Tantra, students are able to fully prepare to integrate the knowledge of each area in greater depth as these topics are presented in a systematic order throughout their course of study.
Tibetan Anatomy & Physiology
The study of Tibetan Anatomy and Physiology covers the formation of the body from conception to death. Students will be introduced systematically to this entire sequence from the initial stages of conception, how the body exists during one’s life, to how it is harmed and perishes in the end. The principles of human conception, stages of development, the shape and interconnection of normal components, the secondary causes, the principles of the appearance of longevity, life energy, and nature are among the aspects covered in this course.
Ethical Conduct of a Tibetan Doctor
This topic of study instills an understanding of the requirements that are necessary for a practitioner of Tibetan medicine from a traditional perspective. Among the topics covered are standards, the responsibilities and commitments that are necessary to maintain these standards, the activities and obligations that must be accomplished, the result of the attainments, and the position the practitioner of Tibetan medicine holds in relation to their patients.
Etiology of Illness and Causes of Diseases
This topic of study will show the complete stages of the development of illness in general, i.e. the characteristics of the cause and condition of the producing illness in the constitution of a human being; the way illnesses begin, the nature of becoming an illness, the indications of a manifesting illness, and the categorization of types of disease.
Methods of Treatment
This is the study of specific treatment protocols. In this course we learn the appropriate treatment methods according to the class of illness, the stage of diagnosis, and the situation of the particular disease.
“Living for a long while without illness” is the knowledge of how to protect wellbeing and benefit a person’s life by preventing the occurrence and development of illness in a person’s constitution. Preventative medicine includes two sections, diet and behavior, as key factors in the promotion of health.
Students will be introduced to the practical theory of investigating and examining the basis of an illness through the three primary components of diagnosis in the Tibetan tradition: pulse analysis, urinalysis, and diagnostic interview.
The external therapies are among the four principle treatments in Tibetan medicine (diet, behavior, herbs, and external therapies). External therapies include both strong and gentle applications of a variety of techniques that include moxibustion, compresses, medicinal bath, medicinal poultices and massage.
Diagnostics II is a continuation of Diagnostics I covering more advanced techniques.
The topic of expurgation is the study of when to apply various methods of Purgation, including enemas, laxatives, and emetics, in the treatment of phlegm, bile, and wind disorders in order to achieve greater health and balance.
Pharmacology is the training and introduction of administering medicinal herbs for the human body covering the basic principles of preparing these according to a typology of taste and the effects of medicinal substances.
Three Nyepas (Humors)
The three humors are agents that are primarily responsible for the origin; duration and perishing of the human body that is the basis of Tibetan medicine. The humors-- wind, bile and phlegm are the cause and condition for illness, and transform into illness. This is the study that introduces in detail and clearly indicates the properties of the symptoms of diseases, the principles of their manifestation, examination, and administration of medicine according to the three humors.
Treating Illnesses of the Torso
In this course we study of the causes and condition of the general classes of diseases belonging to the torso, including the inner organs. Symptoms, the principles of manifestation, diagnosis, and treatment methods are covered.
In this course we study of the causes and condition of those general classes of diseases belonging to heat. Topics covered include symptoms, the principles of manifestation, diagnosis, and treatment methods.
Common diseases cover the study of the causes and condition of those miscellaneous illnesses that are commonly encountered. Students will be introduced to the symptoms, principles of manifestation of particular common illnesses, their diagnosis, and administration of medicine and treatments.
The study of wounds relates to external and internal injuries caused by accidents, weapons, or otherwise wounds that appear from disturbances of the humors and how to examine, diagnose and treat them.
Pediatrics covers the study of the special features and issues of newborn infants and children, with attention to methods of how to protect their well-being. As with other topics, students will be introduced to the primary causes and condition of illnesses associated with the newborn infant; symptoms; the principles of manifestation; diagnosis; and administration of medicine and treatments.
Illnesses of the Upper Body
Illnesses of the upper body cover the study of the causes and condition of those general classes of diseases belonging to the upper body, including the sense organs and head, and when they occur; symptoms; the principles of manifestation, diagnosis, and administration of medicine and treatments.
In the Tibetan tradition, environmental factors and energies are perceived as impacting the wellbeing of individuals. In the topic of provocations students will study how particular places, seasons, and conditions of the classes of extraordinary diseases emerge when energetic forces that cannot be directly seen to be causes of illness nevertheless cause illness. Students will be introduced to the symptoms, the principles of manifestation, diagnosis, administration of medicine and treatments
in such circumstances.
Poison or Toxic Diseases
This is the study of different types of poisons, the causes and conditions of being poisoned and the nature of prepared poisons, and the division of illnesses from poison, and symptoms, the principles of manifestation, diagnosis, administration of medicine and treatments.
Conclusion of the Tantras
All of these topics constitute an exhaustive presentation of the whole of Tibetan Medicine, and together with instruction and practical advice. After taking this course, the student will be trained in the entire field of Tibetan medicine from beginning to end as traditionally presented in the Four Tantras.
Gynecology covers the study of the special features how women’s illnesses occur, the causes and condition of those illnesses; symptoms; the principles of manifestation, diagnosis, administration of medicine and so on. Students will be introduced to the study of illnesses connected with female genitalia and various treatments proscribed in the treating these disorders according to the Tibetan tradition.
This topic of study will indicate the complete stages of the development of illness according to the Tibetan tradition, i.e. the characteristics of the cause and condition of the producing illness in the constitution of a human being; how illness manifests, the origins of an illness, the indications of a manifesting illness, and the general classification of diseases.
Practical Clincal Training Descriptions
The core foundation studies are complimented by eight practicums on the various topics introduced in a particular semester (Clinical training and observation I-V). Students will also have an opportunity to learn Kunye (Kunye I-III), a massage unique to the Tibetan medical tradition during their first, second, and third practicums. See descriptions for all three levels below:
Kunye Massage Therapy
Kunye is a massage that is uniquely taught in the Tibetan Medical tradition. Kunye has been practiced for centuries in the Himalayan regions by Tibetan peoples, and it was mentioned in some ancient texts of the Bon and Buddhist religions.
The term kunye is the combination of two words: “ku” and “nye.” “Ku” means to anoint the body of a sick or healthy person with oils that are appropriate to that person’s specific illness or constitution. “Nye” means to externally rub or massage crucial points such as nerves and tendons. The combination of ku and nye is a method to cure internal imbalances and eliminate causes for disease.
The Conclusive Tantra, the last of the four medical tantras, states that the mild therapies consist of compresses, medicinal baths and massage." Kunye massage is considered a mild therapy.
The practice of massage is very beneficial and does not have negative effects; moreover, it can be done by anyone, regardless of whether they are doctors, yogis, or not. For this reason, this therapeutic modality has always been practiced throughout the centuries by the Tibetan people and continues to be practiced today.
The study of Tibetan massage is structured on three levels. Each of the three levels comprises a total of 36 hours.
The first level consists of:
• A brief history of Tibetan medicine
• The principle of the five elements as taught in the Tibetan medical texts
• The principle of the three humors
• The humoral characteristics of different types of people
• The diagnostic procedure of pulse-taking
• The diagnostic procedure of urine observation
• A review of cases in which massage is appropriate or contraindicated
• Finding massage points
• Measurement for finding massage points
• How to perform the actual kunye massage
• Benefits of kunye massage
The second level consists of:
• How to massage the points
• How to apply the oils
• Kunye massage indicated for healthy people
• Kunye massage indicated for sick people
• Kunye massage for neurological disorders
• Kunye massage for muscular problems
• Kunye massage for people with mental disorders
• How to massage points related to internal organs
• The medical properties of the application of hot and cold compresses and stones, their use and benefits
The third level consists of:
• Oils used in Kunye massage
• Understanding the tastes and properties of herbs used in the preparation of the oils and recognizing these herbs
• Preparation of oils used in Tibetan kunye massage
• Understanding properties of different types of oils
• Understanding which oils are appropriate for different types of diseases
• Benefits of the different oils and their indications
Complimentary Studies Descriptions
Although the four-year program is presented entirely in English, students need to acquire basic reading, writing, and listening skills in the Tibetan language in order to refer to the huge body of literature on Tibetan medicine, as yet untranslated, as well as the primary texts used in the program. The Tibetan language is unrivaled for its sophisticated and subtle contexts in relating nuances of physical and mental harmony or disharmony.
Knowledge of the original language of Tibetan medicine will enable students in the program to better grasp the complex terminology and contextual meanings. Beginning with the basics of the Tibetan alphabet and grammar, students are gradually introduced to relevant texts by their third semester as they progress in their ability to translate from Tibetan to English. A basic competency of the language will allow students to become life long scholars in the field and prepare for their studies abroad during the optional post-graduate semester.
Tibetan History and Cultural Studies
In order to fully grasp the magnitude of Tibetan medicine, students need to understand the historical and cultural traditions from which Tibetan medicine arises. Over the course of their studies at the Shang Shung Institute, students will be introduced to the rich oral and historical commentaries associated with the Tibetan medical tradition in the form of stories, mythologies, and allegories that have evolved for centuries. This is traditionally considered part of every Tibetan doctor’s training.
Shang Shung institute School of Tibetan Medicine P.O. Box 278 Conway, MA 01341 email@example.com P: 413-369-4928 F: 413-369-4473